Thursday, February 14, 2008

The NYTs Does the Math

Adam Nagourney explains the bleak math for the Clinton's in today's NYTs.
because Mr. Obama not only won a series of states, but also won them by large margins — over 20 percentage points — so that he began picking up extra delegates and opening a lead on Mrs. Clinton.

And that is the problem for Mrs. Clinton going forward. If these were winner-take-all states, Mrs. Clinton could pick up 389 delegates in Texas and Ohio on March 4. Now she would have to beat Mr. Obama by more than 20 percentage points in order to pick up a majority of delegates in both states.
Obama has so far won 15 states by 20 or more points. In contrast, save Arkansas the Clintons have won ZERO states by a 20% margin. For all the talk of the Latino voters in Cali, the Clintons took a mere 52% of the vote. In her home state of New York she had 57% of the vote and won by a 17% margin.

There is no objective reason to believe the Clintons will do better in OH, TX or Penn than they did in NY. Add to this the insanely complicated way that TX awards delegates,
In Texas, Mr. Penn said Mrs. Clinton would be helped by the Latino vote — which he said could ultimately be as much as 40 percent of the electorate.

But Mrs. Clinton faces another problem there in the form of that state’s unusual delegation allocation rules. Delegates are allocated to state senatorial districts based on Democratic voter turn-out in the last election. Bruce Buchanan, a professor of political science at the University of Texas at Austin, noted that in the last election, turnout was low in predominantly Hispanic districts and unusually high in urban African-American districts.

That means more delegates will be available in districts that, based on the results so far, could be expected to go heavily for Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton, Dr. Buchanan said, “has got her work cut out for her.”
Better late than never, Clintons chief strategist Mark Penn, to whom the Clintons have paid millions ($2.3 in Q4 2007 alone) to get them to where they are now, has decided that they can't keep ceding states to Obama. Turns out that there are two Clintons and only 1 Obama. So Bill is in Wisconsin today and Hillary has 3 appearances before Tuesday. The Clintons won't win Wisconsin but they will keep Obama from racking up another +20% win. It's this kind of keen political advice that has made Mark Penn so famous.

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